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NMBA survey reports more lending in 3Q

A report issued by the National Marine Bankers Association shows increased lending through the third quarter of 2012, but it also suggested that credit criteria were growing more stringent.

“The survey results reflect the slow road to recovery that I spoke about in my presentation at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference,” NMBA director Jim Coburn told Soundings Trade Only in an email.

“The survey tells us loan business is slightly up again, credit quality is good, there is optimism among the lenders for this quarter and credit availability is adequate and favorably trending,” Coburn told Trade Only. “The credit criteria question was reported as tightening by our press release, but in reality the results barely moved the needle, as 85 percent felt no tightening at all in the third quarter.”

Marine lenders continue to report increased activity in 2012, with 84 percent of respondents to NMBA's survey for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 indicating volume is up year over year. Similarly, 92 percent believe the final quarter of 2012 will be the same or better than the comparable period last year, the report’s findings showed.

Fifteen percent of the responses indicate that credit criteria were more stringent in the third quarter than the previous period. The survey data reflect two consecutive quarters of tightening.

Marine lenders overwhelmingly reported consumer credit quality to be the same or better than the previous quarter, as those with strong credit profiles appear to be leveraging it for a boat purchase, the report showed.

Ninety-two percent of survey respondents believe financing is more readily available in 2012, compared with last year, citing new entries in the marketplace. When respondents were asked the same question in the survey for the third quarter of 2011, 83 percent responded favorably when comparing financing availability in 2011 with 2010.

The NMBA introduced the quarterly members’ survey in the first quarter of 2011 to gauge changes in the lending environment and identify trends for business planning.

Thirty-seven percent of the NMBA lender members (loan originators/brokers/ financial service firms, banks, credit unions and finance companies) responded to the third-quarter 2012 survey, with the majority having a national presence.

— Reagan Haynes

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